Also in September, Microsoft announced plans to power its data centers around the world using 50% renewable energy by 2018. The company also plans to boost its use of renewable power for its data centers to 60% by the early 2020s.
Last year, Apple announced it was investing $850 million in a solar power plant through a partnership with First Solar, one of the nation's largest photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers and provider of utility-scale PV plants.
Increasingly, corporations are also pressing governments to change policies to favor the use of renewable energy, which -- depending on the region -- can be less expensive than power from traditional sources such as coal-fired power plants.
Increasing the use of renewable energy has become a targeted goal of almost half of Fortune 500 companies, according to one report. In 2014, more than half of Fortune 100 companies collectively saved $1.1 billion in energy costs by rolling out renewable energy programs.
"Operating our business in an environmentally sustainable way has been a core value from the beginning, and we're always working on new ideas to make sustainability a reality," Hölzle said.
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